Review: Ponyo 10th Anniversary


Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

I can’t believe that it’s been almost 10 years since Ponyo came out In japan– though I avoided the dub back in 2009 because it was by Disney, not to mention, I was in my “weaboo” phase, where dubs, particular English, became taboo, even among my friends. I forgot how adorable the movie is, and it almost feels like the movie came out 20 years ago to me despite it only coming out 10 years ago.

For those unaware, just like last year, the good people at Fathom Events and GKids are showing nine Studio Ghibli movies in theaters via the STUDIO GHIBLI FEST, which it’s the perfect chance to watch the movies if you missed it in theaters or never had the chance to watch t in general. The great thing about this is that they are also showing the movies with its original Japanese audio.

Ponyo 10th Anniversary
Studio: Studio Ghibli 
Licensed By: Fathom Events, GKIDS
Released: March 25th, 2018 (NA)

The first movie, which they showed last month, was Ponyo. For those new to anime completely (or have been living under a rock for the past 10 years), Ponyo revolves a young boy named Sosuke, who lives on a clifftop overlooking the sea with his mother. One day he rescues a stranded goldfish named Ponyo and discovers more than he bargained for. Ponyo is a curious, energetic young creature who yearns to be human, but even as she causes chaos around the house, her father, a powerful sorcerer, schemes to return Ponyo to the sea.

From beginning to the end, I thought the movie was wonderful, even if it’s a movie that it’s mostly meant for children. It has that certain charm that keeps you engrossed all the way through. The deep friendship that both Sosuke and Ponyo developed, in the end, was great, and it shouldn’t be confused as a romantic relationship at all.

Nowadays I try to give dubs a chance, but I was feeling skeptical about this one considering it was handled by Disney. There’s nothing wrong with Disney since they made a few of my favorite movies of all time, but considering the cast, especially for Ponyo and Sosuke, I was really on the fence. However, I was proved wrong. Frankie Jonas did a good job as Sosuke, and it sounded natural. Noah Cyrus’ Ponyo felt annoying and loud, but that was the point as that’s how Ponyo is at the beginning of the film. However, what I enjoyed the most was how well Matt Damon and Tina Fey did as Koichi and Lisa, respectively. Liam Neeson as Fujimoto as great too.

Right when the movie starts, you can tell that the movie has aged well and could keep up with today’s standards. You can still tell it’s old if you compare with today’s movies like Koe no Katachi and Kimi no Nawa, but it’s still so pretty to look at, but that is expected from any Studio Ghibli movie, even from the very beginning with their earlier movies.

I wish that these movies ran longer than three days. However, it’s justifiable that it only runs for a few days considering the theaters barely get full, at least the ones I’ve been going to and they are old movies. Though it would be nice at least to have another day offering the subbed version to even things out. Those who missed the theater experience can still buy the movie on Blu-ray which was released courtesy of GKids. 

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Ponyo reviewed by Christian Chiok



Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide


Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures



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